By Allison Adams 06-24-12 / Submitted to The Greeneville Sun on 06-24-12
Ever since the news media announced that we’d be paying the price for our mild winter with a nasty tick and skeeter season, I’ve been on high alert.
Some people in my family would say I’m obsessed with this issue, and perhaps I am, but they ought to be grateful.
Without me, they would not know about the dangers that await them in the great outdoors.
I remind them regularly (via a prepared speech) that ticks and skeeters carry heinous diseases.
I arm them with the proper insect repellent before they go outside, and when they come back inside I instruct them to conduct a full body check over every inch of their epidermis to be sure they’re not packing a pernicious passenger.
Despite my efforts, yesterday my husband returned from the golf course with an itty-bitty tick latched to his back.
(You’re scratching now, aren’t you?)
I sprang in to action to remove the intruder using a cotton ball soaked with liquid soap, which slowly smothered the bloodsucking beast.
When the time was right, I detached the tick from its host, and tossed the tick and cotton ball into the trash.
I lectured my husband on the hazards of golf, and warned him to be aware of the signs and symptoms of tick borne diseases, which I promptly researched on the Mayo Clinic’s website.
I read all about Lyme disease until I could recite the symptoms and treatment verbatim.
Then I went on to learn about Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
That led me to West Nile Virus.
Which took me to Dengue Fever.
I began to feel a little clammy.
I started to itch a bit.
My head ached and my eyes began to hurt, which caused me to have some vision problems.
It occurred to me that I also suffered from a little aching in my joints, restlessness, and some sensitivity to noise when I don’t have that annoying ringing in my ears.
I noted that, at times, I experience difficulty in speaking, occasional confusion, absent-mindedness, and agitation – all of which I feel certain that my husband would confirm.
I remembered that last week I had a cough and a little bit of a runny nose.
I also don’t sleep very well, and I’m often very tired during the day.
Thanks to the information provided on website I realized I have a several serious health issues.
Without my glasses I ail from the effects of astygmatism, myopia and hyperopia.
And wouldn’t you know it - blurred vision is one symptom of botulism!
I have a case of scurvy and acid reflux, but no peanut allergy – thank the Lord!
I may or may not have a deviated septum, which could have been the cause of my runny nose, but in reality I probably contracted a mild case of the avian flu.
I battle narcolepsy and I'm ridden with cellulite.
After reading the signs and symptoms as best I could (given my vision difficulties) I realized I am afflicted with sciatica, vertigo, and separation anxiety.
Despite the fact that I haven’t stepped on a court in 10 years, apparently I have tennis elbow.
Also, my carpal tunnel has a syndrome.
Last, but not least, the symptom checker on the website indicate I have the yips and a touch of rabies.
I walked feebly through the living room to report my ailments to my husband.
I paused in front of the TV to inspect my flat feet condition and I heard (with my good ear) a TV commercial warning about the dangers of diabetes.
Well, guess what? I have 3 out of 6 symptoms.
I added diabetes to my list and handed the terrible tally of maladies to my husband.
“I doubt that you have contracted a tick borne disease,” I said, “but according to my diagnosis it’s a miracle that I’m able to stand upright.”
He read through my ailments as I made my way to lie down on the couch.
“Hmmm. You forgot one”, he reported.
“I did?” I asked.
“Hypochondria.” he said.
“For the love of Pete, please write it at the bottom of the page,” I directed. “I’m too weak.”